VANYALAND - STUDIO 52 FEATURED BAND OF THE WEEK - MARCH 9, 2018
What Studio 52 Says: Drawing influence from a pinpointed and fine-tuned range of genres, Boston’s Fire in the Field hone in on a modern day Zeppelin/Hendrix hybrid sound that doesn’t lack energy, guitar solos, or blues progressions. Their high energy and guitar focused songwriting style creates somewhat of a nostalgia overload for classic rock and blues fans, while keeping those tried and true genres relevant to the younger generation. With four albums currently under their belt, their most recent release War Bonnet brought a new side of Fire in the Field to light, as it’s more furious and driving than anything else listeners have heard from them. Previous releases were clearly very blues driven, while War Bonnet leans more in the direction of grunge and ’90s alt rock, without losing the blatant classic rock feel that characterizes their sound, leaving fans anxious for whats to come from this ever evolving power trio. Come see Fire in the Field unleash a blast from the classic rock/blues/grunge past tonight (March 9) at Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company in Framingham or Saturday night (March 10) at The Cantab Lounge in Cambridge with support from Heavy Necker and The Cosmic Vultures. — Trevor McSweeney, Studio 52
June 4, 2018
Fire in the Field
Review by Gary Hill
To describe this set with one phrase, the riff is king. These guys have produced a sound that is very nearly heavy metal, but probably lands more in the hard rock zone. There is definitely stoner rock at its core, but it's tempered with things from psychedelia to even the hard rock of early Grand Funk Railroad. Fire in the Field's music is fuzz-drenched and so cool.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
The fast paced riff that starts this is just so cool. This thing powers out like screaming hot old school heavy metal. It drops to a mellow kind of groove for the vocal section. They alternate between those two sections. They both get expanded upon at different points along this road. This is part old school heavy metal, part progressive rock and part stoner rock. It's all cool.
Killer riffs are again at the heart of this. The proggy and mellower elements of the previous cut are gone here. Instead, the stoner rock kind of element really creates the concept of the tune. It does drop back for some killer rocking guitar soloing, though. This thing is fuzz-laden and so tasty.
Duke of the Valley
There is a bit of a punky edge to this piece. The tune works through some changes within it's stoner rock grind. This is another killer cut on a disc that's full of them.
The opening on this is even meatier, if that's possible. The fuzz content is killer. It alternates with a bit more melodic section. This feels like Electric Wizard mixed with more of a mainstream hard rock band.
Peasant Once Passed
Psychedelia and stoner rock merge on this killer cut. There are some almost punk like parts with the shouted slow moving part of the tune.
The cool just oozes off of this killer rocker. It's built around the same stoner rock sounds as the rest of the disc, but when it's this good, why change. Again there is a good balance between the fired up and dropped back parts of this.
Fire in the Field CD release War Bonnet Rocks with Authority
By Judy Dessanti, Patch Poster | |
With cover art drenched in red the band Fire in the Field's War Bonnet CD tells its stories in an entertaining - loud - manner accompanied by riveting precision. "Tomahawk" opens the disc following the lead of the Rolling Stones, putting a memorable riff and melody front and center. Just as Tattoo You had "Start Me Up," "Brown Sugar" leading off Sticky Fingers, "Rocks Off" doing the same for Exile on Main Street, "Tomahawk" splits you between the eyes with its unique and eloquent guitar work. All four minutes and twelve seconds of it. "Swift Hoof" follows with Mike Moore's guitar painting interesting musical ideas with the cascading melodies riding the undercurrent of multiple riffs, all colliding in harmonious fashion. The theme of the album appears to take Black Sabbath's Master of Reality into Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection world - a dark look at the old wild west, perhaps a metaphor for all the madness going on throughout this war-torn planet. The songs span the three and a half to four minute mark, "Duke of the Valley" would also fit nicely into the soundtrack of a modern-day "spaghetti western" like the ones Clint Eastwood cut his teeth on. The songs swim in good production, the heavy leaden boots plodding of the rhythm, sizzling guitar work and large quantities of vocals and lead lines put an exclamation point on the proceedings. The music in both "Swift Hoof" and "Duke of the Valley" prowling, growling with real intensity.
The stomp entitled "Elephant" was engineered & mixed by John Santarelli at Oil Can Studios and mastered by Jay Frigoletto at Metronome. "Trample your master" are the lyrics and vocal from Mike Moore, the crunching sounds from the three members of Fire in the Field marching to the same sonic beat. Elephants are in vogue these days, and this tune is an excellent follow-up to "Tomahawk" if streaming singles and vinyl are on the agenda. "Peasant Once Passed" is the longest track at 5:06 and smashes you in the face with its forceful, bright sound elements. Moore's vocals are either echoed in the distance or he's speaking in heavy metal incantations. "Save" concludes the disc with yet more imaginative riffs and, thankfully, the band is smart enough to keep the tracks to a maxi-E.P. or mini-album six selections. We are in an age of sensory overload where less is more, and there's enough meat to savor here for quite some time. Fire in the Field is a definite find, major league all the way around.
EVOLVEMENT RADIO - Album Review
Fire in the Field - War Bonnet
Release date: October 2017
We’re going to start the year off heavy here at EvoRad’s Album Analysis. Fire in the Field dropped a scorching 6-track EP in October that escaped my immediate attention but that you should turn yours to immediately. While digesting this Ep I found myself stepping through a veritable cornucopia of comparisons. At first listen I was drawn to the Aerosmith influences tracks like “Swift Hoof.” Not the gag-reflex-inducing Love in an Elevator-era Aerosmith but the grimey, garagey Aerosmith of the early and mid-seventies. Next time through I fell hard for the sexy, soulful grooves of “Elephant” and “ Peasant Once Passed.” When I was done I found myself reaching for my perennial favorite stoner rock band, Clutch. A few more listens in and out popped the unhinged vocal style of The Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala layered on the crunching riffs of Rage Against the Machine.
In some ways this EP defies categorization but Fire in the Field’s ability to draw so many and such wide comparisons while maintaining a cohesive sound all their own is a feat unto itself.
The touchstones are pure rock gold and that ought to be enough to convince you to give a listen. Go find them now… www.fireinthefieldmusic.com.
"Fire in the Field returns home to play Stone Church Jan. 12"
By Christopher Hislop
Posted Jan 9, 2018 at 7:48 AM
On Friday, Jan. 12, Fire in the Field makes its triumphant return to the Granite State when the band shares a bill at the Stone Church with Gretchen & the Pickpockets. The show marks the first New Hampshire play for the band (who formed in East Kingston) in nearly two years. In support of their brand new release, “War Bonnet,” the Church will be moving and shaking as rock will commence. Heavy, cathartic rock and roll. Just what the doctor ordered during this time of bone chilling arctic freeze.
EDGE caught up with frontman Mike Moore to discuss the new record, the Big Three, and the neighbors.
EDGE: Let’s talk about “War Bonnet.” Holy smokes. I think I’m tired of people saying rock is dead. Nothing could be farther from the truth. “War Bonnet” is the next chapter. (Or is it the current chapter?)
Moore: “War Bonnet” is our most direct and realized chapter. We made a conscious decision to keep it heavy on this one. It had been two years since we played with Jeff (bass). There was so much unrecorded bare bones riffage in the can from the old days. Each record this band has done we’ve added a new texture, a new player, and for “War Bonnet” we stripped it down to the core - guitar, bass, drums, vocals.
EDGE: What were the goals for this EP?
Moore: Initially, the goal was to revisit some unfinished material begging to get made. Soon it became a split between finishing up some old and writing new jams.
EDGE: How are things in the Fire in the Field camp? What does 2018 have in store?
Moore: We’re psyched to be moving around playing gigs in parts of the Northeast we’ve never been. Portland, Maine and NYC have been especially good to us. Music video sometime soonish for “Tomahawk” in which I wield an actual tomahawk. I’ve been tossing around the idea of recording a live album since we’ve been playing so many shows.
EDGE: I’m going to jump around a bit and ask some random questions. First track is “Tomahawk.” It’s an aggressive wave of aural onslaught right out of the gate. Given the name, and the fact that I’m a life-long Celtics fan, I feel like you’re channeling the great Robert Parish and dunking right on the masses, Tomahawk-style. I’m sure this wasn’t a conscious part of the effort, but was it?
Moore: You know John, Jeff, and I never discussed who would be Parish, Bird, and McHale in a hypothetical “Big Three” scenario, but we are a power trio.
EDGE: What all inspires your songwriting? Do you start with a lyric or a riff? Are your neighbors cool?
Moore: The easiest way is to write a riff and get a mood, catch a vibe and pen some words to it. I write a lot of poetry though and “Duke of the Valley” and “Peasant Once Passed” were lyrics first, music came separate, and then I tailored the words to fit the music. We’ll have a jam in rehearsal and then I listen to the recording, go through some poetry and slice and dice.
The neighbors aren’t cool; they’re scared, I think. No one is going to go pound on a basement door when they hear an evil riff rattling the walls and someone shouting, “Now, it’s war!” I wouldn’t anyway.
EDGE: This record is very “Sword-ish” in sonic scope. Loud, long tune with anthemic, otherworldly qualities. You a fan of the Sword? What’s your current playlist look like (in general)?
Moore: Absolutely love The Sword.
I usually listen to albums and mostly when I’m driving. Right now in a pile (yes, a CD pile) on my passenger seat sits an Alan Lomax Anthology Collection, obscure Prince records from the ’90s, Cypress Hill, Doyle Bramhall II, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples’ new record, Reverend Gary Davis, etc.
EDGE: You’re heading back up north to the home turf for a show at the Stone Church in Newmarket. What excites you about the gig? When’s the last time you played in these parts?
Moore: It has been too long since we played New Hampshre. Two years maybe? Gigs at the Stone Church feel like a pilgrimage to the source. I grew up down the road in East Kingston; saw my first legit shows there at 18.
EDGE: What can folks expect when they come out to see you play? Will you be sporting a headdress?
Moore: Expect an energy and performance you can’t get anywhere else. I will not be sporting a headdress.
EDGE: How many guitar strings were harmed in the making of “War Bonnet”?
Moore: Guitar string survival rate was actually reasonable, eardrums on the other hand ...
Fire in the Field fires forward with fury on the raging classic punk rock ruckus of “War Bonnet”. Riffs burn through great vast terrains as they rush through with a sense of urgency. By opting for such a timeless sound Fire in the Field ensures that their music feels akin to great art, moving yet perfect with its emotionally direct approach. Lyrics have a dreamy, highly descriptive quality to them. At times the wild, unhinged spirit recalls Death From Above’s early work. Volume deserves to be blasted for the sound needs to be felt and heard. By choosing such a visceral approach Fire in the Field goes straight for the heart.
With “Tomahawk” Fire in the Field make sure to start the collection off right with all cylinders blasting. Heavier still is the dirge of “Swift Hoof” where the track goes for a lumbering gargantuan take. Nimble guitar work gives the song an almost funk-like approach, as the jagged rhythm works wonders, adding to the overall heft of the colossal riffs. A little bit of the blues makes its way into “Duke of the Valley” where the song opts for a nearly tragic quality. By far the true heart and soul of the collection comes from the deliberate stripped down grit of “Peasant Once Passed”. Concluding the collection on a high note is the rollicking roll of “Save”.
The balance between the bombast and the beautiful is what makes Fire in the Field’s “War Bonnet” a truly unforgettable experience.
By – Shannon Carey
Fire in the Field’s drives their impression of rock music to a furious style of heaviness, that pushes the boundaries with the energy, angst, depth and great detail. How much detail is great detail? Well it just so happens that their latest album “War Bonnet”, has created such a buzz, that these guys just want the fans and others alike, to feel the movement that their music creates, just as other music has moved the band mates themselves. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Moore goes into detail about the album, inspiration behind their music and lyrical context, as well as future plans in terms of playing shows and much more.
NP: Give a brief history of Fire in the Field’s music style, and the members.
There was once a flame. From the flame emerged an angry kid with a guitar and a drummer with a heavy beat and a bassist with a penchant for doing naughty.
NP: How did the band come up with the name Fire in the Field and tell me what does it mean for you?
Witness to a sacrifice of thousands circa late 1990’s on a burning plain, with a salty ocean wind in the air seacoast New Hampshire. No stars that night.
NP: What inspires Fire in the Field’s music and lyrical writing? Which acts do you take influence from the most when creating your work?
If your soul is burning you must keep it moving by feeding it the right fuel. Which acts? One through three. Sequels are hit or miss.
NP: Which songs off “War Bonnet” have received the single treatment? Did said song also have an accompanying video as well?
Each song stands as a single entity and form a track list together. They’ve added “digital collections of music or photos” to the definition of the noun “album” in the Webster’s Dictionary. Phew.
NP: What is the difference between your latest album “War Bonnet” and the very first records?
We kept this one lean and mean and founded on our trio roots. Which means we left the bluesier numbers for the next record and this one is pure searing rock n’ roll in the vein of some of our other tracks people know, “Soledad” , “Stone Hearted Creature” , “Caravan & Hawk” or “Most Evil”. A return to form but a surge forward.
NP: Why did you want to go ahead and title this album “War Bonnet”? Who was the member to have a war over not getting to wear the bonnet?
Great question. “War bonnets or headdresses are feathered headgear traditionally worn by male leaders of the American Plains Indian Nations.”
NP: Which producer did you decide upon when writing and recording for this album?
We decided upon ourselves.
NP: How would you describe the album’s artwork, who was the one to create it?
Nate Forman took a picture of me screaming on stage at an Austin, TX show during SXSW 2017. Ryan Daly, my friend who did the artwork for our 2014 release “Gypsy Tea Room” put the package together. I came up with the concept with someone else. A definite team effort with Ryan doing the heavy lifting.
NP: What’s your take on “War Bonnet” as a whole?
Blood curdling into a soul-chasm of life and rock n’ roll at a break neck pace hung in bright red light under the black hole riptide.
NP: How about plans for the remainder of this year, what do you have planned?
October 27th – Middle East Upstairs – the War Bonnet release show. We’re getting to Worcester, to Burlington, VT – back to our roots in southern, NH…. a fun one with Maine rockers Five of the Eyes who just put out a great record, and a Boston staple, The Shills. We’re playing an amazing venue in Southbridge, MA called Starlite. Demetri and Rob over there are two of the coolest cats around and their venue doubles as an art gallery. Everyone should check this place out – https://www.facebook.com/starlitegallery/. It’s what every hip spot in Somerville wishes it could be. We play Starlite on Nov. 11 – but just go to our website www.fireinthefieldmusic.com to get all our tour dates.
NP: Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
NP: What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
I would never desire someone else to remember anything except what’s important in life. In terms of Fire in the Field’s new album I can only hope they feel moved because that’s what my favorite music does to me.
By: Natalie Perez
May 11th, 2016 - SKOPE MAGAZINE (www.skopemag.com)
"Fire In The Field’s “Look So Strange” reveals its heart and soul as blues mixed with rock n’ roll. With a classic rock sound accompanied by a slow burning fiery passion these songs recall a sweeter more stylish time in pop. Everything works from the incredible emotional vocal delivery to the rollicking rhythms right down to the expressive organ. This is the kind of music that is as much physical as it is emotional, with the vamps being done pitch perfect to every song’s small yet significant flourish of sound.
“Honey Cup” begins things with an anxious guitar riff. From this small introduction the song’s tension is slowly built up ever so gradually. Fire In The Field takes its time in letting the energy rise up until it absolutely overwhelms. By far the highlight of the collection the song gets ever more expansive in nature. Wasting absolutely no time is the downright lush sound of “These Hills”. Precise percussion leads the way as the song morphs into something oddly beautiful, almost serene at times before interrupting this piece with dramatic fanfare. Heavy in nature is the distortion lead work of “Most Evil” whose chaos is engrossing, as Fire In The Field show off their considerable chops as the guitar solo tears through it all. Ending things on a high note is the high energy “Eyes”.
‘Look So Strange’ shows Fire In The Field harking back to the best of classic rock."
Q&A by Chris Hislop of NH Seacoast Spotlight
Sept. 25th, 2014
In 2009, Fire on the Field dropped its eponymous debut on an unsuspecting Seacoast community, confidently staking the claim that rock was alive and well.
This journalist’s ears perked up. I was giddy. Good rock ‘n’ roll music is, believe it or not, hard to come by.
Not impossible. But difficult. Bands trying to make a name in this genre in this area are a bit thin. To have one make a confident statement at such a young age was reason to be excited.
Then they vanished. Various members kept plugging away on different projects, but Fire in the Field – the band – it disappeared.
Five years later, and all-the-more wiser, the band is back. And its members have made sure that the statement made after a half-decade of silence is even stronger than the first time.
Sure, things have changed. But boy have they changed for the better.
Fire on the Field’s sophomore release, “Gypsy Tea Room,” is an exploration of sound.
It’s still gritty. It’s still heavily steeped in riff-driven psychedelic rock. It’s still many of the things on which the band built its foundation. But the band has stepped out of its comfort zone a bit and created a record that is expounding on what they were, and chiseling at the definition of what it is they will become.
The excitement is back. Let’s hope the air isn’t let out of the sails this time around because this is a band that needs to be creating and filling out some space on the soundtrack of life.
Spotlight caught up with frontman Michael Moore to find out the scoop …
Spotlight: Tell me about ‘Gypsy Tea Room. ‘What were the goals behind the record?
Michael Moore: The goals were lofty for this one. This marks my first time as the frontman/singer of the band, or any band for that matter. So from the 2009 album to this one I've worked towards shifting my mindset as a guitarist riff-maker into the frontman, singer, lyricist, writer etc. – trying to expand as much as possible. So again, lofty but the challenge keeps it interesting and incredibly fun. Aside from that shift, the goal always remains the same to an extent - make the music you love and would want to listen to. For myself and the band that's our original brand of psychedelic rock. The whole concept connecting with all the tunes as a journey wasn't really a goal so much as a discovery process as we collectively traversed through all the tunes and stories contained therein.
Spotlight: It's a concept record. There are two very different definitions of the term ‘tea room,’ so I'm curious what the title of the record means to the band. How did you come up with it?
Michael Moore: I interned at WBCN - R.I.P. - my senior year of college. My boss at the time was a huge record collector and one day strolled in with a few boxes of records. He let me pick some goods out and I found this old sheet music from the ‘60s of all these different show tunes, movie themes, and beyond. The covers were these beautiful retro paintings, drawings, etc. I took the covers home and put them up on my wall. I went to write one day and started looking at this one painting with the title on it, ‘In a Little Gypsy Tea Room.’ It was this borderline spooky painting and I thought, ‘I want to have a song about a tea room, a gypsy tea room where something is going down.’ I brought the finished tune to the studio for rehearsal and it quickly became the title of the record - and, obviously, the title track, which serves as the album’s closing number.
Spotlight: Can you talk about the state of the band now in comparison to the band that was in place when you recorded the first record?
Michael Moore: (John) Santarelli (drums, percussion) - known that guy since Little League. (Jeff) Badolato (bass) I've known since freshman year of high school. We’re the foundation – kind of a typical equation that creates a great band: all of you alone aren't necessarily virtuosos but together you have a groove that can't be fabricated. So we ran with that power-trio idea for a long time until we came across Jamie Bagshaw, another Little League friend.
We needed a singer, and I was too shy to do anything. I felt most comfortable with my guitar in front of me, and that was it. Jamie was the man back in the day, he turned me on to a lot of great blues music I wouldn't have discovered that soon otherwise. But nothing crazy about the first incarnation, truly the atypical implosion story … Nobody's fault except our own. When you’re 19-22, I dunno, you don’t take things that seriously. I don't think I really had a true thought that mattered until I was 25. (Laughs.)
So for the current record, Jamie is gone, and I’m singing … We also added Andrew Blowen (keys). The bottom line with Andrew is no one sounds like him. My ultimate goal as a musician is to find my own voice as pure as possible and Andrew does that every time he plays. So having him come in and put his touch on each tune brings that spice that no one else has! He was an invaluable addition!
Spotlight: What are you hoping folks take away from this music when they experience ‘Gypsy Tea Room’?
Michael Moore: I think when I go into something – a book, a movie, an album, a live show … I want the journey. You sort of know what you're getting into, but then you forget everything and are just going with it. Those are some of the best moments in life; when the analysis portion of your brain shuts off and you simply take the ride. That's the experience I enjoy the most and is hopefully what I've provided here with this record.
Spotlight: How would you describe the music of Fire in the Field to someone who hasn't heard you yet?
Michael Moore: Ah, the ever difficult ‘don't box yourself in’ question!
Spotlight: Don't box yourself in!
Michael Moore: (Laughs.) To avoid the box I usually say, ‘psychedelic-blues-rock ‘n'roll-soul.’ After I give the multiple genre
description I usually say, ‘Well, we love heavy riffs, groove is most important, but old blues and old soul music is really what we love to listen to the most, and psychedelic I guess encompasses the strange tales and lyrics thing.’
Spotlight: What does ‘music’ mean to you? What are YOU looking to take away or gain from creating it?
Michael Moore: Music has always been around, and will never go away. It's somehow inherent to our nature for whatever reason - there's actually a billion reasons that I won't get heady on right this second due to time limitations, and space limitations …
I've always loved and played music since I was a kid … Been in bands since high school. It's something I've fallen into. It wasn't really a choice or a plan. Just pure passion from the get-go. So I just keep doing it. The more I discover my unique voice, the more I want to keep going. Now it's to the point where I'm just diving in all the time. Is it spiritual? Well, yep. Yep it is. Sounds corny but it's true. It’s a form of communication, and there is no other form I love more than music. My sincere hope is that we’ve done our job as best we can and people find a bit of enjoyment out of this record.
Spotlight: I have no doubt that they will.
- See more at: http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20140925/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/140929789/0/SEARCH#sthash.jvBEwPFw.dpuf